Experience Castle Rock


Fitness Fridays in the Park

Beginning June 2nd, each Friday this summer presents the opportunity to tackle a new challenge with the Fitness Division’s Summer Fitness Series. These free classes feature a different workout format utilizing the natural features of the Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park, allowing participants to get in a great work out in a gorgeous setting. Head out to the park Friday mornings at 8:00am and try something new this summer. Classes are free and open to all fitness levels. Get the whole family in on the fun! In addition to the free Friday classes, you can see how you do tackling the 200-Stair Challenge Hill or unwind a bit with Yoga in the Park on Sunday mornings at 9:00am.

Adding to the fitness fun are the two outdoor fitness fundraising events benefitting the Adaptive Recreation program; REAL Morning Zumba in the Park on June 10th at 9:30am and Zumba Glow on Friday, September 15th at 7:30am.

For more information on Fitness Fridays, Yoga in the Park or the REAL Zumba events, go to crgov.com



Just last year, AerialWorks came to life in Castle Rock, and with it a new way to awaken mind, body and spirit. AerialWorks unique workouts are inspired by the training done by Cirque de Soliel performers to prepare for their visually stunning shows, but you don’t have to be a professional performer to get in on the fun. Kids and adults alike can learn how to fly on silks, rope, hoop, trapeze and more. The studio, located in a 2,700 sq ft warehouse, is designed with adjustable rig points soaring 15-20 feet high. AerialWorks offers curriculum that is all inclusive, whether you are a fitness enthusiast or just looking to try something new. Owner Rebekah Leach has been in the aerial arts industry for over a decade, with extensive background in numerous forms of dance and years of experience teaching and performing. With their unique classes, you’ll get in a full body workout, gain upper body and core strength and increase flexibility, but you won’t even notice that you’re working out because you’ll be having way too much fun. Sign up online for “Test Drive Tuesdays” for a free introduction to see what class would be the best fit for you; Aerial Skills & Fitness, Aerial Yoga, the 6-10 week Aerial Performance Course and even Aerial Kids & Youth Classes!
For more information on classes and kids summer camps, go to
www.aerialworkscastlerock.com, call 303.578.6456 or find them on Facebook

where in town?

A Monthly Scavenger Hunt

Would you like to win $50 cash? Look through the magnifying glass and simply guess correctly where in Castle Rock this is. We will randomly draw a winner from all correct entries! CLICK HERE to enter online – GOOD LUCK!

Did you recognize May’s clue?  Just off Front Street is the trailhead to an iconic landmark in Castle Rock.  Rock Park’s trail allows visitors to climb to the base of “The Rock” through a looped single-track trail.  In about a mile and a half, the 370 foot elevation change from the bottom to the top allows for breathtaking panoramic views of Downtown Castle Rock, the vistas of the Front Range and Pike’s Peak.  This trek can be a bit difficult and tends to be rather rocky and uneven, so definitely be prepared for a bit of a challenge.  If you haven’t done it lately, or ever, get out there and get after the trail at Rock Park!

The Colorado Renaissance Festival

The Colorado Renaissance Festival

Weekends June 10 through July 30

Each summer, Larkspur is transformed into another realm. A land filled with music and laughter, fantasy and intrigue. This summer is no exception when the Colorado Renaissance Festival returns with entertainment like you’ve never seen before! Take in the CRAIC Show, an act made up of four travelers who were banded together on an ancient battlefield in 1541 who merge music from faraway lands. Or maybe check out the new Nightingale or Living Fountain performers, both of which bring ethereal performances to life before your eyes. Returning acts include The Kamikaze Fireflies, Hey Nunnie Nunnie and the ever popular Jousting competitions from The Knights of the Noble Cause Productions.

There’s adventure around every corner with sights, sounds and even amazing food of times gone by. Turkey Legs, Roasted Corn, Earl of Bratwurst, Baron of Beef and Sausage on a Stick are all waiting to be enjoyed in the Canterbury Kitchen. More lavish offerings are available in the Queen’s Pantry and wonderful treats abound in Friar Tuck’s Bakery. Additionally there’s offerings from the International Food Court like smothered burritos, meatball sandwiches and, especially popular with the littlest festival goers, pizza. In addition to the world class entertainment and menus fit for a king, there is an abundance of unique handmade wares including artwork, jewelry, pottery, clothing, and weaponry. Live demonstrations take place daily throughout the Realm from artisans including Blacksmiths, Glassblowing, Raku, and Pottery, leather-making and wood-working. A map of all the shops and attractions can be found online at coloradorenaissance.com

The festival is open for eight weekends over the summer, rain or shine (but no pets please.) Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate (Adults $24, Children ages 5-12 $12) or discounted tickets can be purchased at King Soopers (Adult tickets for $21, Children 5-12 $11.) Corporate discounts are available if you’d like to treat your employees to a weekend at the festival (go online or call the Box Office at 303.688.6010.)

Make plans to take part in the rich tradition of Colorado summers. Come out to the Renaissance Fair and take in all there is to offer – or at least try to take it all in, there’s so much to experience!

The Renaissance Festival is located at 650 W. Perry Avenue in Larkspur, Colorado. For more information email the castle at crfcrf@coloradorenaissance.com, go online to coloradorenaissance.com or call 303.688.6010

June 10th & 11th

A Magical Adventure!
Opening weekend of the 41st Anniversary Season kicks off with a return of many of your favorite acts and attractions as well as some exciting new additions not to be missed!

June 17th & 18th

Royal Ale & Art Festival
Raise a mug to our heroes this weekend! All military personnel will receive a Buy-One-Get-One-Free Adult ticket with their Military ID and their children (12 and under) enter the realm of the Festival for free. Free ale sampling will be held at the Dancing Bear Pub from 11:30am-2:00pm.

June 24th & 25th

Celtic Festival
Enjoy special Celtic Dancing groups, musician and pipe band. Be sure to “don ye kilts” for the “Best Men in Kilts” contest and check out the Sam Adams sampling at the Dancing Bear Pub from 11:30am-2:00pm.

July 1st & 2nd

Children’s Weekend
Young princes, princesses and pirates are in for amazing adventures this weekend! Have them dress the part and be a part of the costume contest or maybe even join the Royal Quest! Those who complete the deed will be rewarded by Good King Henry and the Fair Queen Anne at the Knighting Ceremony! Plus, festival goers 12 & under get in free with paying adults (this weekend only!)

July 8th & 9th

Wine Revelry
Wine lovers rejoice! In addition to all the amazing shows and acts of the festival, come out and participate in the Legendary Grape Stomp Competition for prizes and join in on the free wine sampling at the Dancing Bear Pub from 11:30am-2:00pm.

July 15th & 16th

Love and Romance
This festival favorite is dedicated to all the lovers out there. Channel Romeo and Juliet for a literal love-fest or maybe even renew your vows! You can also attend the “Forever Real” Royal Wedding Ceremony. Love is definitely going to be in the air this weekend at the Renaissance Festival!

July 22nd & 23rd

Pirate Invasion!
Avast me harties! Look sharp as pirates will be invading the festival this weekend! High seas adventures, swash-buckling sword fights and jolly good times are sure to be had by all!

July 29th & 30th – Fare Thee Well

Mardi Gras Style Carnivale
Celebrate King Henry’s 527th Birthday Mardi Gras-style! It’s sure to be a memorable closing weekend when festival goers let “Ye Olde Good Times Roll” celebrating life, laughter, music and dance. Don’t forget to wear your favorite mask and costume!

Douglas County Outdoors

Douglas County Outdoors

Recreational Opportunities in Douglas County, Colorado

With the summer sun finally beginning to make regular appearances, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the beautiful area we all call home here in Douglas County. With the abundance of hiking and biking trails, dog parks, playgrounds and parks, and picturesque open space, there is no lack of adventure to be had this summer. Douglas County Outdoors has made it easy to plan summer excursions with their new interactive map of recreational opportunities in Douglas County. Simply go to DCOutdoorsApp.com and let a map of activities unfold at your fingertips.

A map on the right of the screen shows you exactly where everything is located, so you can pick by proximity to your own backyard or if you have a specific plan in mind, use the tabs at the top of the page to narrow your search. You can view the county as a whole or narrow down your search my regions within the county lines. Check out trails, equestrian areas, picnic facilities, playgrounds and more and a graphic of each will appear to the left of the map. Click on any for more information about that specific location.

For example, if you want to check out Castlewood Canyon State Park, click on the photo link and find out that you can go bird watching, hiking, rock climbing and much more (there is a link for more details.) There’s even a phone number to Colorado State Parks for more information listed.

The best family outings are often those that don’t cost a dime. Make sure to bookmark the Douglas County Outdoors Interactive Map and take off for a hike, a bike ride or a picnic in some of the prettiest places on earth – that just happen to be in our own backyard!


Camp DCL

Camp DCL

Summer is a great time to spend more time together as a family, but sometimes, it’s nice to let the kids have some adventures on their own. Summer camps are a wonderful way for kids to meet new friends and try new things and this summer, Douglas County Libraries is getting in on the fun with their Camp DCL Adventures beginning this month!

Do your kids dream of being famous chefs, world class artists or maybe even super sleuthing detectives? They can experience all of this and more during these week-long, hands-on experience based summer camps. DCL’s half day camps are offered at the Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker and Roxborough locations. Camps begin the week of June 5th and run throughout the summer (August 4th.)

Designed for campers ages 6-12, the following options are available:

  • Be an Artist – campers will get to experiment and experience a new medium each day, bringing home painted, wearable and sculpted masterpieces. ($150)
  • Be a Builder – budding architects will learn different aspects of building and design each day. ($150)
  • Be a Chef – The next generation of Iron Chefs will love this chance to build their culinary knowledge. ($150)
  • Be a Coder – Throughout the week, campers will create their own video games and learn other coding skills. ($225)

Campers 8-12 years old can Be a Detective, using problem solving skills to solve cases and even check out cool detective skills like fingerprinting! ($150)

For the older campers (ages 9-12), DCL offers Be a Robotics Engineer sessions that will provide hands on experience with robotics and the opportunity to build their own robot! ($225)

Times vary depending on camp sessions. Many camps are filling up fast or on a wait list, so be sure to sign up soon! Go to DCL.org/camp-dcl for more information and registration.

Parker Days

Parker Days

For a couple of days and night each summer, Downtown Parker is transformed into the biggest of playgrounds for the young and young at heart. Parker Days is coming to town and bringing with it pulse pounding rides, exciting midway games, world class entertainment, amazing food and much, much more! Starting with the sneak peek the night of June 8th, this year’s Parker Days Festival is bound to be the best yet! It’s the perfect family weekend, and it gets kicked off with a rockin’ concert Thursday night, headlined by Bret Michaels. The music continues throughout the weekend on the Main Stage, Pikes Peak Stage and Community Stage. Performance schedules can be found at parkerdaysfestival.com.

Friday, the festival is open from 5pm-Midnight and then picks right back up Saturday morning at 9am. The beloved Parker Days Parade begins at 10:00am and this year’s “Rock and Roll” themed parade will feature high school marching bands, clowns, horses, floats, and for the first time ever, the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales! To get a good spot to enjoy the parade, which runs along Mainstreet and Victorian Drive, it’s suggested that you get there early to find your perfect spot to enjoy it. The parade runs all along Victorian Drive, so if Mainstreet gets too crowded, you may find better viewing along Victorian Drive.

If you’ve never been to Parker Days, you’ll be amazed at all there is to do and see! For the little ones, there is a Petting Zoo open all three days of the festival, Face Painting (Friday 5pm-9pm, Sat 9am-9pm, Sunday 9am-7pm), an inflatable race track, buskers all along Mainstreet, water balls and bounce houses. Water balls and bounces houses do have a cost associate with use; tickets are available on site.

“Big Kids” will have plenty of fun as well. Hit up rides including the Kamikaze, the Sizzler, the Himalaya and the Freak Out or test your nerves in the Haunted Mansion. Maybe the Fire Ball or the Super Shot is more your speed? Whatever thrills you’re seeking, you’ll find them on the 20+ different rides at Parker Days. For safety reasons, bare feet, flip flops and guests with casts are NOT permitted on carnival rides.

Sunday, there’s tons of free fun, starting with the annual Pancake Breakfast from 8-10am at the Main Stage. Cash donations from the Pancake Breakfast will benefit the Parker Task Force. Then, take a stroll through the fabulous Farmer’s Market, open 8am-1pm, and the Parker Days Car Show, which is open from 8am-2pm.

Of course, a carnival isn’t a carnival without some amazing food and Parker Days is no exception! Sweet treats like Berrie Kabobs and Frozen Cheesecake, Fried Oreos and Snickers, Swirls Frozen Yogurt, & Funnelicious Funnel Cakes are just a handful of ways to up your sugar intake. Got a hankering for something savory? You’ll find everything from Philly Cheese steaks and BBQ Ribs on a Stick to Fried Catfish, Turkey Legs and Corn Dogs or you can sample something with a bit of an international flair like Mexican Food from La Hacienda or creations from Island Noodles. Visit Food Truck Alley to check out offerings from Arepas House, Chibby Wibitz Sliderz ‘n’ Bitez, Funnel Restaurant and Food Truck, Goin’ South, High Grade, Kona Ice, Mac Shack, Roll it up Sushi and The Comforts of Home Food Truck.

Grownups looking to sip a little something stronger than lemonade be sure to bring your ID and enjoy cold Budweiser brand beers, wine, margaritas, Jack and Cola, Jack and Ginger, Daiquiris, Mikes Hard Lemonade and Cranberry and more will be served at the Main Stage Bar – ID must be shown for proof of age. In addition to the Main Stage Bar a second location at the Pikes Peak Stage will be serving microbrew beers, wine and other beverages to go along with the entertainment on stage. NO CASH is accepted, drinks can be purchased for 5-7 tickets per drink, and tickets are sold for $1 each and can be purchased for food or drink. ATMs are available on-site at both locations.

Fun, food, games, rides, concerts and a whole summer’s worth of family fun packed into a single weekend! Come one day or everyday and start the summer off right at Parker Days!

Free festival entrance and music Friday-Sunday

Headline Concert tickets are $35, Single-Day Carnival Passes are $30 (save $5 when you purchase online) and Mega Carnival Passes are available online only for $60

FESTIVAL HOURS – Friday 5pm-Midnight, Saturday 9am-Midnight and Sunday 9am-10pm

CARNIVAL HOURS – Thursday 5pm-10pm, Friday 5pm-Midnight, Saturday 10am-Midnight & Sunday 10am-10pm

Go to parkerdaysfestival.com for more information, schedules, carnival maps and carnival passes

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

Dads are one of a kind and deserve to be spoiled…at least once a year that is. Sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect gift for Dad, so we’ve found some great locally owned businesses that will make his Father’s Day one to remember!

Extraordinary Beards
No matter if Dad has a full on lumberjack beard or the scruffy look, he will love you for helping him keep his man mane in good shape. Premium ingredients make these oils and balms…well…extraordinary. Gift sets available!

Line-X Truck Bed Liner
We know Dad puts his truck through a lot. Why not surprise him with a Line-X durable coating that’s guaranteed to protect his truck bed from the harshest elements. Heck, it even comes with a lifetime warranty!

Mile High Golf Cars
Does your Dad like to spend time on the trail or hunting? Well then surprise him with an off road vehicle that will make all his friends jealous. Is he not the outdoors type but loves a game of golf? Mile High Golf Cars has got you covered there too!

The Grillin’ Shop
Dads love to cook over an open fire or take the slow and low route when smoking meats. Help your dad explore his inner outdoor chef with a new grill from The Grillin’ Shop…or help him step up his “smoker” game with a Big Green Egg. If Dad is already set, then check out all their accessories to help him be the envy of the neighborhood.

The Gallery at Vehicle Vault
Dads and cars go together like peas and carrots. This Father’s Day get Dad a membership to the Gallery at Vehicle Vault. He’ll love being able to check out their incredible collection of autos, from historic classics to modern exotics, his “man card” will definitely reach platinum levels spending time there.

Castle Rock Zip Line Tours
Let’s face it; Dads can sometimes think they are super heroes. Well, give him the chance to fly with a gift certificate to Castle Rock Zip Line Tours! They offer an amazing zip line course through some of the coolest terrain in the area.

The Bookends

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

By: Susan Rivers

Seventeen year old Placidia Fincher lives a privileged life with her family. She is a tomboy that has a love for horses, especially the wild ones. Major Hockaday comes by her father’s property to buy a mule and Placidia is attracted to this rugged older man. He feels the same and the two are quickly married and she leaves everything behind to start a new life on a 300 acre remote farm far from her family. Just days after becoming husband and wife, the major is called back to the battlefield. Young Placidia is left with the Majors young son and more responsibility than she has ever had. By the time he returns two years later, his young bride is accused of adultery and infanticide. Placidia refuses to talk about the accusation nor defend her herself. What happened during those two years?

BECKY This Civil War story is told completely through correspondence and diary entries. For the most part the letters are conversations between Placidia and her cousin Mildred. We do get quite a bit of information but they are the only characters we get to know for awhile. What did you think about this style of writing?

PAM I typically like this style of writing, but I did find it a bit cumbersome at the beginning. However, once I became more familiar with the characters and the time frame of each letter, I was able to see the connections and the story began to fit together. I felt that it frequently took me a bit to catch on to what the author was implying in different social situations and relationships. I wondered if it was the language the author used. Did you find that, as well?

BECKY Absolutely! I had a hard time following this story and I often wanted more information than what was provided in a letter. This style also didn’t paint a vivid scene in my mind. I usually have a very good picture of the characters and the setting, but this book was like watching a black and white television show. The story however, although it took awhile to develop, was quite interesting. The reality that women were left with the heavy responsibility of taking care of property, farm animals, servants and often children, gives a different glimpse into the realities of war. Do you think that the author was successful, using this style of writing to show how grueling that time was for Placidia and women in general?

PAM I agree that the story developed and drew me into the interesting mystery. Although it took a while to see the entire story and get a feel for the characters, eventually the author did portray the difficulties women faced during the war. Also, the author offered a glimpse into the social order, where women were considerably lower than men. This became even more of a challenge when a woman was in charge of her land and the people working it and had to deal with the men in town and on neighboring farms. Did you find this frustrating, as Placidia worked as hard as any man?

BECKY For me, it was more upsetting to read about men benefiting from a woman in such a desperate situation. We are introduced to a few unsavory men that took advantage of the environment the war created. She really had no means or experience to effectively protect herself and that was something that I hadn’t thought about before. Not only was she physically vulnerable but her livestock and stored food supply were equally at risk. What I found most intriguing in this story is the servants she interacts with. I had a better picture of these individuals than the two main characters. Did you find that storyline interesting?

PAM I agree, Becky. I also had a more complete picture of the servants, than the two main characters. The storyline of the servants connected many pieces, as we were able to see the interactions between different families. The servants were often temporarily moved to different families and homesteads when there was a need. This allowed us to discover information that helped to piece together the story of Placidia. She would not have been able to withstand the period of war without her servants by her side. Although, some were loyal and some were definitely not. Were you able to have a better understanding of this story through these relationships?

BECKY Some gave more light and understanding to this story than others. I would have loved hearing more from their point of view as the story moved along. With the correspondence style of writing this wasn’t possible but I did enjoy that some of those stories come to life as we move towards the end of the book. There was so much to address in this story with loss, forgiveness and the conclusion of the mystery. Did you like how this story came to an end?

PAM I had mixed feelings about the ending of the story. Ultimately, it was what I would consider a happy ending. However, the events and hurt that had occurred throughout the story were hard to completely wipe away. As we approach the end of the book, some of the characters’ children discover certain truths that had been meant to rest forever. This causes much discussion in the families. Did you feel that it was better to learn the truth, even though it changed perceptions or is it sometimes better not to know?

BECKY That’s an interesting question. I enjoyed the truth and how it was revealed. If it wasn’t presented then I think I would have felt cheated and assume a second book to follow. I can’t say that I would have been interested in a second story but I did want to know what happened to that baby and this marriage. I think it’s time to say goodbye to this story and move to The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti. Zoe is living a lavish lifestyle but her secret past is sneaking up on her. Will her previous life be revealed or will she be able to lock it safely away?

Local Author Spotlight

The Trials

Secrets, Spells and Tales

By Liz Rau

The Salem Witch Trials are widely known throughout history, but it’s the lesser known black curse that has been weighing heavily on Harry. But when a mysterious new girl arrives in town with a hidden past, dark secrets come to light and new stories are woven throughout the threads of time with the help of a gypsy. The only question is, will this be enough to break the curse?

This book is available for purchase on Amazon.com and on Kindle.
Learn more on www.lizrauofficial.com.

Three Silly Words

The Tale of a Car, a Banana and a Ladybug

Written By Ericka Harrell & Illustrated By Krysta Parr

Three silly words, one silly story! What do you get when you take two silly brothers, one day at the carnival, a bunch of imagination, and oodles of family fun? Oh yes, and let’s not forget… a car, a banana, and a ladybug?!? One silly story, of course!

A little about Three Silly Words…
Ericka Harrell is a new children’s book author based in Parker. Her illustrator, Krysta Parr, is based in Centennial.

Last year, Krysta and Ericka were chosen to be bridesmaids in their dear friend’s wedding. Having never met before, the two began talking, and lo and behold, they both had life-long dreams of writing and illustrating children’s books. Last fall, after 17 years of service at Ericka’s beloved company, she hung up her corporate high heels and decided to chase her dream of becoming a children’s book author full time. Krysta also recently accepted her dream job and is working as a graphic artist at a large company.

Ericka’s children inspired her book series. When they were little and couldn’t fall asleep, Ericka would ask them to think of three words, any three words, and she would make up a silly story that included all of them. The more unrelated the words, the sillier the story! Ten years later, Three Silly Words, the book series, was born!

All of the “three silly words” used in Ericka’s books are created by her children, their silly friends, and the young students she reads to. Ericka has two titles self-published to date, “Three Silly Words: The Tale of a Pizza, a Treehouse and a Shark,” and “Three Silly Words: The Tale of a Car, a Banana and a Ladybug.” Both are available on Amazon.

Her first title is also available on BarnesandNoble.com.